The NParks’ Trees.sg portal launched today revealed the identify of the cluster of trees at the western end of the pond in Kent Ridge Park which we walked past during the Battle of Pasir Panjang Anniversary Walk. They turned out to be Calophyllum soulattri, a critically endangered (CR) species native to Singapore. [Thanks Ivan Chew for the head’s up this morning!]
A click of the species name calls up the relevant page in the NParks Flora & Fauna Web where more information is available about the plant.
Trees which are not along a public road may not be included as those may be privately managed and not in the main database. I looked up trees in NUS immediately but no joy – as yet. The portal does advise patience as there are subsequent phases.
Ohhh the pruning schedule is included! [Thanks Joys Tan for highlighting that!]
Trees.sg has an option to indicate if a tree is flowering, but I imagine Facebook or Instagram may still be an easier and quicker way for most to share information. It could be a supplemental tool for students are wondering about the identity of a tree a hornbill landed on, or if a tree has a wide enough tree trunk to tie a camera trap around to monitor roadkills.
Meanwhile, friends online have already come up with a wishlist to provide as feedback for future revisions to improve useability. For now, though, we’re really happy to be able to confirm identities and look up details of some of our carbon-sequestering friends in Singapore.
Fung Tze Kwan said on fb,
“I went to click a couple [of trees] in my neighborhood to double check [their identities]. Can send treemail & give virtual hugs too lol. I found my fav kapok tree and gave it a hug. I used to visit it every weekend for a year when I was doing forest work there.”
Fung Tze Kwan with her favourite kapok tree in 2012
Lots of people are happy about this, thanks NParks!
This Wednesday, The Deck canteen (Arts Canteen) is hosting a zero waste roadshow – learn how to reduce disposables, and be inspired about leading a zero waste lifestyle by outreach partners, retailers and video screenings (11am-2pm).
This initiative of Tingkat Heroes Singapore is conducted in collaboration with NUS SAVE and in support of NUS Goes Lite 2018. Visit the Facebook page to learn more and get connected.
Click for PDF
At the Biodiversity Friends Forum Macaque Watch workshop last Saturday, we briefly discussed the conservation status of the long-tailed macaque.
The volunteers looked up the classifications defined by the IUCN Red List briefly and were able to recall various categories which we matched to a some Singapore species.
Then on Facebook I saw this comic by Rohan Chakravarty at Green Humour which tickled me to no end, because it is both informative and tragic.
He includes the five categories we battle for, from Least Concern to Critically Endangered, skipping the extinct and data deficient categories and makes a significant point:
I think we can use the cartoons in our workshops and we’ll add “Concerned” (anyone who tries) and “Least Concerned”.
You can follow Green Humour on Facebook..
Last night, Ridge View Residential College’s Dr Chua Siew Chin and I discussed the steps we would need for the habitat restoration programme we have undertaken at Chestnut Nature Park, with participation from the community through Friends of Chestnut Nature Park.
Two community enrichment planting events have been facilitated by NParks who provide a good mix of species amongst the 50 stems. With their supervision, the community is quite easily able to plant trees, which is both exhilarating and educational. So we will pin down a few dates this year for everyone to plan.
That activity motivates us to discuss the outstanding issues – long-term aspects which are tougher to carry out: seed and seedling collection, nursery work (being carried out by UWC), weeding out aggressive species (assisted natural regeneration), soil and leaf litter sampling, phenology monitoring and a youth education programme.
Now that we hammered out a draft plan, we will flesh it out into a proposal and seek reviews. This is not something we will achieve overnight, but with half-yearly markers, it will move along.
Dovetailing it with likeminded individuals and programmes will certainly help. And in the college (RVRC) we will offer a multiple-component programme as a Forum in the new Year 2 programme.
If you are interested in forest work, let us know!
Staff were rolling up their sleeves to tackle the onslaught of students returning on the first day of semester. Well, we received some great news and it was about nBox, a 1TB cloud service for NUS staff.
This provides a secure service which Dropbox users were trying to work around and also relieved us of OneDrive which has restrictive name formatting issues. nBox has them too, but is slightly less fussy.
nBox has “team folders” which have independent storage allocation and adjust permissions per folder.
Even as @mammal_gram Marcus Chua was raving about the service over in Washington DC, I shifted over the teaching folders I share with the FTTAs.
That’s a relief – now to take it through its paces!
When looking over the Faculty of Science from the Science Library, my former classmates from 30 years ago looked over the faculty against their mental images and remarked, “It’s become so crowded”.
Our BSc class year graduated in 1990 and One Historical Map has street maps from 2017, 2007, 1995, 1984, 1975 and 1966. The webpage allows a side by side comparison and I picked the 2017 and 1995 maps. Yes, it has become crowded indeed.
In addition to building density, student numbers have increased too, especially amongst grad students. There were 4,977 students (4,594 u’grads + 383 grads) in 1994/5 and this had increased to 6,675 students by 2016/17 (5,126 u’grads + 1,549 grad students).
Oh well, during this time, the population density in Singapore increased from 4,814/sq. km to 7,796/sq. km. These are different times indeed.
More than a decade ago, before Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and what not extinguished the wild wild west of personal blogging, my regular blogging kakis included Ivan Chew and Kevin Lim.
Amidst a larger group of media socialists, we three would meet every couple of years or so for some intense face to face discussions. We’d share experiences and techniques, evaluate ideas and translate some thoughts into overt action.
Some of that underscores how we do things today. So beyond reminiscing, old posts allow me to extract useful lessons from the past to catalyse new effort.
Which is why I’m glad Ivan Chew left his blogspot posts at Rambling Librarian, even after he reimagined himself at artistivanchew.tumblr.com).
I shifted to this WordPress site a decade ago (10th Jan 2008), so those posts are all here. Last year, I managed to salvage and transfer my first blog on the NUS science server to a server fronted by sivasothi.com.
Then two days ago, Kevin announced he had to abandon his expensive MediaTemple host. He’s a geek so quickly found out how to shift to a server, install a WordPress template and that retained his URLs. So theory.isthereason.com, and its archives, lives on!
A passionate Kevin at the “Youtube and beyond” workshop
at the National Library Singapore, 19 Jun 2007